Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Friends of the Missouri State Archives To Hold Annual Meeting: June 10, 2017

The 2017 Friends of the Missouri State Archives annual meeting will be held Saturday, June 10, at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center (600 W. Main St.) in Jefferson City. The business portion will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon and program entitled, Route 66: The Highway and Its People, by nationally recognized author Susan Croce Kelly.

This event is open to the public, but there is a cost of $25 per person. Contact Brian Rogers by Friday, June 2, at (573) 526-1981 or brian.rogers@sos.mo.gov to reserve your place. Payment should be mailed to the Friends of the Missouri State Archives at P.O. Box 242, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

MyHeritage Launches New Comprehensive DNA Ethnicity Analysis

My Heritage  today announced the launch of its new and improved Ethnicity Estimate. The new analysis, developed by the company’s science team, provides MyHeritage DNA customers with a percentage-based estimate of their ethnic origins covering 42 ethnic regions, many available only on MyHeritage, representing the most comprehensive report of its type available on the market.

The best part is that you can either order a DNA kit from MyHeritage or upload your own data from other site.



MyHeritage Announces New Collection Catalog

Earlier this month MyHeritage announced a new section on their website called the Collection Catalog, a listing the historical record collections indexed and available on MyHeritage SuperSearch™. The catalog is useful for beginners as well as professional users. It lists next to the name of each collection the number of records in it and the date in which it was added or last updated, and indicates with a special icon which collections are new or recently updated. Some people call this a “card catalog” in reference to the way libraries used to index their inventory on cards in the old days, but our Collection Catalog is digital; It is available online and includes many useful functions.



Try it out soon!

Sanborn Maps Now Available at the Library of Congress

This is one of the most exciting announcements from the Library of Congress (LOC) maps collection in several years! The LOC has digitized more than 25,000 pages of Sanborn maps.  I use these maps regularly for my preservation and historical research.  According to the LOC
The Sanborn map collection consists of a uniform series of large-scale maps, dating from 1867 to the present and depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some twelve thousand cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.
The maps are easy to use, once you understand the key.  It is explained here.  

If you know where your ancestor lived you might just find his house on a Sanborn map.  There are limitations - not every city was mapped and like census takers some maps provide more detail than others.  Currently over 3,000 cities across the US are online with more being added monthly through 2020. Missouri is in the first release so go check! 


Springfield, MO map, April 1884, p 1,
Library of Congress, Sanborn Map Collection


Other areas in the first release include: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OK, PA, SD, TX, VA, VT, WY and Canada, Mexico, Cuba sugar warehouses, and U.S. whiskey warehouses.

But as Missourians we are doubly blessed because the University of Missouri Library has an extensive Sanborn Map collection.  The University of Missouri--Columbia MU Libraries have documented 390 Missouri towns totaling 6,798 of the maps from 1880 to 1922. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society Records Offering

Today i would like to highlight one of Missouri's regional societies and some of the historical records available there. The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society has many records available online. Volunteers are indexing and adding digital copies of cemetery records, obituaries, death notices from local newspapers- just to name a few. For example, deaths are recorded from 1890-1909, when death certificates became legally required by the state.  More years are being added so check now and check again later if you have ancestors in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan,  Clinton,  DeKalb, Gentry,  Holt, Nowaday and Worth counties.

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced this week the publication of two newly revised books in its Research in the States series. These guides are two of 26 books that provide information about genealogical repositories and resources in specific states to aid individuals who are researching their family histories. The latest editions are Research in Tennessee, 3rd Edition and Research in North Carolina, 2nd Edition.  The books are available in pdf and hard copy from the NGS online store.


Spring Sales for DNA and Genealogical Research

With the spring holidays (Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations) several companies are offering discounts for genealogists.  


MyHeritage is offering their best deal ever.  The Mother’s Day promo on their DNA tests – is just $69 thru May 15. 


  • Ancestry.com is offering 25% off memberships for Mother's Day.  


  •  Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems is offering 25% of annual membership using the code SAVE25NGS

  • Genealogy Bank is offering 2 months free with an annual subscription.




Excitement Builds as Ground is Broken on the New Center for Missouri Studies

As the Spring semester ends at Mizzou, construction is slated to begin on the new Center for Missouri Studies at Sixth and Elm on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) celebrated the culmination of its 10-year effort to create its Center for Missouri Studies in a ceremony on April 19, 2017.  
Ground Breaking Ceremony April 19, 2017
As well as acting as headquarters for SHSMO the new state-of-the-art facility will offer a lecture hall, art gallery, historical research center, conservation lab and meeting rooms.  SHSMO President Bob Priddy said, "This building reminds us that our history is not a bunch of papers and books to be stored in an attic. This building reminds us that our history is alive and it can guide us."  The new Center for Missouri Studies new Center for Missouri Studies will open in April 2019.  We can't wait!
Artist Rendering of the New Center for Missouri Studies


Thursday, May 04, 2017

New York Public Library Has Digitized 5,000 NYC Historical Maps

"An article in Hyperallergic caught my eye when I read, "The New York Public Library Has a 'Digital Time-Travel Service' for Its Historical Maps."  I had to check it out.  It seems the New York Public Library has a two year project to plot 5,000 digitized street maps across the five boroughs, organized by decade from 1850 to 1950.  

The article states that the "New York Public Library’s new NYC Space/Time Directory is imagined as a 'digital time-travel service,' a two-year project engaging the library’s collections of maps and geospatial data through interactive tools." The first tool, Maps by Decade, was launched this month.




“The goal of the Space/Time project is to connect the library’s collections through space and time,” Bert Spaan, NYPL’s Space/Time Directory engineer, told Hyperallergic. Now that is pretty cool.  If your ancestor came through Ellis Island they may have lived in NYC for a time.  If you are really lucky, you might just be able to view the exact location "real time." Happy hunting!


NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, NC, 10-13 May: Livestream & On Demand

Many genealogists soon will be flocking to North Carolina to attend the 2017 National Genealogical Society annual conference.  For those of us who cannot attend in person, still have an opportunity to see some of the many interesting lectures by premier American genealogists.




You can now live stream select sessions from the Conference—and watch them again and again for three months from the end of the Conference (until 13 August). You can watch one track (5-sessions on DNA and/or BCG Skillbuilding) or both tracks (10-sessions) as they happen live, and then replay them anytime.

Personally, I think I will listen to the DNA sessions.  I have tested my DNA along with several family members but I have yet utilize the information to its fullest.  I look forward to hearing some great lectures on the subject!

Happy Hunting.